As a potential customer of Boost Collaborative you may have questions that we frequently are asked. To make it easy to answer some of your questions, please feel free to peruse this section of our website.
Q: What are evaluation and employment planning services?
A: Boost Collaborative's evaluation and employment planning services are a way to help you decide what type of job you want and whether that job is right for you. Services in this area can help identify your interests, abilities, and needs that will be important as you set your goals. We will also provide you with the opportunity to explore work options by trying out one or more jobs that might interest you.
Q: How many jobs can I try out?
A: Working with you and your vocational counselor, we will develop a plan and help you decide how many jobs you might want to try. Most participants try one, two, or three jobs.
Q: How long do community based assessments last?
A: Community based assessments usually last two, three, or four weeks. They can be shorter or longer based upon your needs.
Q: How long before I start my first job?
A: This will vary depending upon the type of job you want, the employer you will be working with, etc. Our goal is to have you start working within two to four weeks from your placement authorization.
Q: Will I get paid for the community based assessment?
A: Community Based Assessments are for learning and practice and in some cases no pay is received and in other circumstances one is paid at least minimum wage. If you work at one of Boost Collaborative's commercial work sites, you will be paid based on how much work you do.
Q: What kinds of jobs will I be trying out?
A: The type of jobs you try out will depend on your own interests, abilities, and goals. Job tryouts are set up either in the local business community or at one of Boost Collaborative's mobile work sites. Examples of jobs in the community are:
Q: Will someone go with me to meet an employer at a work site?
A: Once a work site is found, a Boost Collaborative staff member will go with you to see the work place, meet the employer, ask questions, and learn more about the job.
Q: Will I be left on my own once I start?
A: This depends on you and whatever is comfortable for you. A Boost Collaborative staff member usually arranges to be at the work site to assist in training you on the job, this could be on your first day or two, or every day, and on a weekly basis after that. Remember, this program is designed to meet your needs, and we can be there as much or a little as you’d like.
Q: Will one of my community based assessments lead into a job opportunity?
A: Most Community Based Assessment don’t turn into permanent jobs. The job tryout helps you learn about your work habits and skills and can help you decide whether you like that type of work. If you do like it, we’ll work to find you a similar kind of job.
Q: What do I have to do to use this service?
A: Tell your vocational counselor or case manager that you would like to work with Boost Collaborative. If you don’t have someone to refer you or you aren’t sure who to talk to, you can call Boost Collaborative and someone will be happy to help you.
Q: What is Supported Employment?
A: Boost Collaborative's supported employment service works with you to find – and keep – a job that is right for you. A staff person helps while you are learning and working at your new job so that you will do your very best. Our goal is for both you and your employer to be happy.
Q: Will I have to pay for services?
A: You will not have to pay for our services yourself. The Division of Vocational Rehabilitation and the Developmental Disabilities Administration pay for most people who need our services. We will work with you to see if they can help you. If they cannot pay, and if you receive Social Security benefits, we can help you with a work incentive plan to pay for service costs, and to keep your costs at a minimum.
Q: How long will it take me to find a job?
A: That will depend on many things such as the type of job you want and the number of those jobs that are available in your community. It could take just a few months, or maybe several months, or maybe even a year or more. As quickly as possible, we will do our best to help you find a job you will be happy with.
Q: What are some of the jobs you have helped people find?
A: Boost Collaborative has helped people find jobs doing the following:
Q: What happens if I lose my job?
A: Most people lose a job at some point in their lives. If you lose your job because of a layoff or another reason you had no control over, we will work with you to help you find another job. If you are fired from your job, we will talk with you and your employer to find out why. We’ll help you to learn how to avoid doing things which may cause you to lose a job in the future. Boost Collaborative has other services if you decide not to look for another job right away.
Q: What must I do if I want to use Boost Collaborative's services?
A: If you would like Boost Collaborative to work with you, tell your case manager at the Developmental Disabilities Administration or your vocational counselor at the Division of Vocational Rehabilitation. If you do not have a case manager or vocational counselor, or if you aren’t sure who to talk to, you can call Boost Collaborative and ask to speak with someone about our services; we’ll be happy to help you get connected.
Q: What are school to work services?
A: Throughout their school years, young people build toward the promising but challenging day when they will leave school and become an adult. Because young people who have disabilities face even greater challenges, Boost Collaborative offers a program to help these students assemble the building blocks of success by preparing them for employment known as School-to-Work (S-T-W) transition.
In collaboration with local school districts, Boost Collaborative staff guide special education students through vocational exploration, employment matching, and eventually, job placement. Ongoing employment support (job coaching) is provided to assist in successful school–to–work transitions. The goal of the program is for each participating student, upon high school graduation, to have obtained employment.
Q: How does S-T-W services work?
A: After careful assessment of a student’s own skills, interests, and vocational goals, the staff begins with an exploration of the types of jobs in the community that match those interests. The student is then given the opportunity to try out jobs in those areas. Job readiness and skills training are also provided.
Next, the staff approaches a specific employer to help identify tasks that will meet the student’s needs while providing a valuable work opportunity. A job analysis is conducted to ensure the proper employment match. A standard job interview follows, after which the final hiring decision is the employer’s.
After students are placed in jobs, Boost Collaborative provides job and workplace orientation, job-specific skills training, and on-going support to encourage retention. This ensures that job performance meets the employers’ expectations. Staff may also provide disability awareness training or job modification assistance for the workplace.